An Open Letter on Why I’m Not Voting for Hillary Clinton and How Sick and Tired I Am of Being Shamed For It (PSA: I’m Not Voting For Trump, Either)
I don’t make political posts on my social pages often, mostly because I hate being a part of long, drawn-out political and often pointless arguments. Just because you write a longer comment or send angry emojis doesn’t mean you’ll change my opinion, so I usually just don’t see the point. I do share my opinions when asked, but I generally opt for expressing them in a logical and non-confrontational manner without trying to shove them down people’s throats. I’m not trying to force anyone to feel the way I do when it comes to politics, especially when it comes to such a controversial election as this one… but I’m sick and tired of being shamed for where I stand.
I’m not voting for Donald Trump. And I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton, either.
Although most people can easily digest the first, the latter of my two choices has led to countless conversations going nowhere, until I finally felt compelled to write this piece.
Oh Trump, how do I hate thee, but I won’t count the ways. I don’t need to preach to the choir. What I will say is this, if the misogynistic, blatantly racist Trump were to win, do you truly believe that American’s would sit back, twiddle their thumbs, and say ‘well, I guess we have to wait till 2020?’ My bet is that most American’s would be kicking and screaming for the next four years and watching his every move with hawk eyes.
And how about Clinton? She’s a politician, through and through and THAT is what terrifies me.
You see, I could care less about the emails. The Bush Administration had that little hiccup, too.
What terrifies me is that Clinton possesses the political finesse to maneuver policy changes that could have detrimental and long-term effects on the issues most important to me. In fact, her track record is evidence of this.
But how easily America forgets.
Super-Predators & School to Prison Pipeline
In 1994, Bill Clinton signed a $30 billion crime bill into effect which created dozens of new federal capital crimes, mandated life sentences for some three-time offenders, and authorized more than $16 billion for state prison grants and the expansion of police forces which led to the USA having the highest incarceration rates in the world by the time he left office in 2001. Eighty to ninety percent of drug offenders incarcerated during this time were black Americans, even though there wasn’t as significant a demographic discrepancy in actual drug abusers.
Now Hillary is not her husband’s keeper, but neither was she a bystander throughout his administration, often times going past simply campaigning for Bill by lobbying for legislation and other measures herself.
In fact in support for the bill, she used damaging racial rhetoric that haunts her to this day, equating black children to animals.
“They are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”
When the policies implemented by the (Bill) Clinton administration are examined more closely, including their damning effects on the black and brown community, her support and campaigning for them must be scrutinized.
Take the welfare-reform bill which (Hillary) Clinton has applauded as recently as 2008. This bill slashed aid to families with dependent children and the decade following it’s implementation saw a 100% increase of American’s living in extreme poverty (that’s $2 per person, per day).
Now these bills did not cut back on American tax dollars but rather reallocated them from public housing and child welfare programs into the prison system “effectively making the construction of prisons the nation’s main housing program for the urban poor,” according to sociologist Loïc Wacquant.
Let’s move on to another important issue…
Immigration & Fence Along The US-Mexico Border
That border fence that makes your blood boil when Trump mentions it? Yeah, Clinton supported a bill for a 700-mile long fence along the Mexican border and has referred to those votes FOR a fence multiple times throughout her campaign.
“Well look, I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders.” — 2015 Town Hall
Clinton has also said that, as president, she would continue President Obama’s precedent of dealing with immigration policy through executive action.
According to a report by Fusion citing government data, “the Obama administration has deported more than 2.5 million people — up 23% from the George W. Bush years. More shockingly, Obama is on pace to deport more people than the sum of all 19 presidents who governed the United States from 1892–2000 combined.”
Personally, that isn’t a legacy I’d like to see continued by Clinton.
And what about foreign relations?
The Overthrow of Manuel Zelaya and The Murder of Berta Caceres
First, a quick lesson on how US Law is supposed to work when it comes to military aid. In the event of a military coup in a foreign country, all military aid from the US is to cease immediately.
Now, let’s look at what happened in Honduras in 2009 while Clinton served as Secretary of State.
On June 28, 2009, the democratically elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya who was known for providing free education and meals to children, increasing minimum wage, and recovering indigenous land rights among other things, was overthrown by a military coup.
Rather than cease military aid in accordance with US Law, Clinton was instrumental in continuing this aid in direct opposition to some the top aides in the State Department at the time, including 15 US House Democrats, and thus instrumental in the downward spiral of Honduras into increasing poverty and violence.
Some examples of the increasing violence post-coup, include the murder of political opposition, organizers, and LGBTQ activists, increased rape of women and children, and femicides beginning to occur at the rate of 1 woman murdered per day.
Berta Caceres, indigenous environmental activist and one of the most famous victims of femicide, singled Clinton out for backing this coup. Berta was assassinated on March 3, 2016.
Deportation of Children Seeking Asylum
Now lets take a look at the thousands of Central American children fleeing death and violence and seeking refuge on America’s soil, including many from Honduras, post-Zelaya.
Clinton’s initial statement was to send them back in order to send a message to their families saying “Do not let your children take this very dangerous journey.”
I wonder, in what world does a mother willingly send her child on a dangerous trek where they may possibly be subjected to beating, rape, and even death with just the hope that they may survive and make it here? How much worse must their current conditions be when there are no other options?
But “send them back” was Clinton’s initial response before as spokeswoman Gabriela Domenzain so eloquently put it,
“facing pressure for taking a position that would essentially ensure sending children back to certain death, she backtracked. Now today, she is standing by her initial comments that the children should have been sent back immediately. Leadership is about forging public opinion, not following it.” — Huffington Post
And these are just some of the issues.
Not to mention, the following:
- Clinton was against Marriage Equality until 2013 when it became politically acceptable.
- She has been a major supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and called it the ‘Gold Standard’ of trade deals. TPP would hurt non-college educated workers by significantly affecting wages, especially for black and brown families.
- Clinton has been linked to denying countless request for additional security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya which led to the wrongful death of US Citizens.
- She has condemned ‘Big Money’ in politics and is supposedly committed to policing Wall Street and yet she’s raking in the Super Pac money.
So I’m not voting for Donald Trump. And I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton, either.
And although most people can easily digest the first, the latter of my two choices led me to write this piece.
Because I believe that when you vote, you make a decision based on what matters to you when it comes to the issues… that you vote for the candidate that you stand with and believe in.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s how democracy works. That’s the right I have as an American citizen.
What I don’t believe, what I refuse to be forced into, is that you have to choose between the lesser of two evils.
For me, there is no lesser of two evils. Who am I to predict what will happen should either of them become President?
I’m not here to shame you for voting Clinton. My intention isn’t to change your mind or to sit here and argue about politics. I’m simply sharing that in my eyes and from a place of my personal integrity, voting for either of the two main candidates before me is just NOT an option.
Because I believe that when you vote for a candidate, you give them your personal permission, your stamp of approval, for what they do in office.
And though I can’t predict what will happen (none of us can), I can anticipate based on their personal stance and their track record, and that is enough for me.
So when November 8th comes around, go ahead, vote your conscious, because I sure as hell will be voting mine.
Sometimes not making a choice, is a choice.
And if you’re undecided, or have made the decision to not vote for a candidate or to vote a third-party, there is one thing I still urge you to do. Educate yourself because voting is not only a privilege, but a responsibility.
So vote… even if it’s just on the issues.